An angry motorist has been given a community order after spraying his victims with tomato ketchup. Kieron Butler sprayed the condiment at another driver and a teenage cyclist. Butler, of Gravesend, Kent, was also ordered to pay his victims compensation for their “degradation”. Maidstone Crown Court heard Sukhchain Singh was driving in Northfleet, Kent, in the late evening of August 14 2014 when Butler’s Peugeot 106 cut him up. Prosecutor Trevor Wright said Mr Singh was forced to stop and reverse. Butler also stopped and remonstrated with Mr Singh.
“Without warning he squirted tomato ketchup into his face, which caused irritation to his eyes,” said Mr Wright.
Just over a week later, Jakub Gora, 17, was riding his bike in Gravesend when Butler pulled up in front of him, forcing him to swerve.
The teenager tapped on the car window to alert Butler that he was there. Butler got out of his car shouting and with his fists clenched.
He eventually drove off, but returned and continued to shout. He told Mr Gora: “Wait there, I am going to be back.”
Butler drove off and again returned.
“He squirted tomato ketchup all over his clothing,” said Mr Wright. He added: “The maximum sentence is six months imprisonment. There was premeditation in respect of going back to get the tomato ketchup and then squirting it.
This was in public. We might say there is degradation of the victims by squirting tomato ketchup in a public place.”
Recorder James Mullholland QC told Butler: “These are strange offences to be honest.
When you fall out with people, spraying them with tomato ketchup it is not the worst in the world but if you are the recipient of such behaviour I think you will view it differently.
“They were frightened. The fact it ended up with being tomato ketchup doesn’t justify the conduct you displayed. However, your early guilty plea has redeemed you.”
Recorder Mullholland said he was imposing a “high level” community order of 220 hours unpaid work.”
He added: “I take the view you should pay compensation to those individuals. They should not have to face behaviour you displayed. You will pay them £75 each.
The end result does not reflect the fear and apprehension they had throughout these two incidents. They should be compensated for their ordeal.”